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Potential runoff and erosion comparison of four center pivot sprinklers

King, B.A. and Bjorneberg, D.L. (2009) Potential runoff and erosion comparison of four center pivot sprinklers. pp. 1-19. In: American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International Meeting. USA-NV-Reno, 2009/06/21-24.

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The operational characteristics of center pivot sprinklers are well documented but few
studies have been conducted to evaluate the effects that operating characteristics of a particular
sprinkler have on infiltration, runoff, and erosion of specific soil types. The objective of this study was
to evaluate potential runoff and erosion from common commercial center pivot sprinklers on three
widely distributed, south central Idaho soils. A modified commercial irrigation boom system was
used to emulate center pivot irrigation on experimental runoff plots. Sprinklers used in the study
were: 1) Nelson R3000 with brown plate, 2) Nelson R3000 with red plate, 3) Nelson S3000 with
purple plate, and 4) Senninger I-Wob with standard 9-groove plate. There were significant
differences in measured runoff percentages and measured erosion rates between center pivot
sprinkler types for the soils tested and experimental conditions. The magnitude of the differences
among sprinklers was equal to or greater than the differences between the soils tested. The I-Wob
and S3000 sprinklers exhibited the greatest measured runoff percentages and measured erosion
rates and the R3000 sprinklers exhibited the least runoff and erosion for the three soils tested. In
general, sprinkler types that visually appear to more evenly distribute sprinkler droplets over the
wetted area with respect to time exhibited the greatest measured runoff and measured erosion rates.
The relative ranking of the sprinklers in terms of measured runoff percentages and measured erosion
rates was consistent when four and six irrigation events were used to apply 75 mm of water. The
relative differences in runoff between the sprinklers tested were not directly proportional to sprinkler
droplet kinetic energy per unit water volume applied. This outcome is in conflict with conventional
theory on soil surface sealing from droplet impact. Possible explanations include incorrect
representation of sprinkler droplet kinetic energy, conventional soil surface sealing theory does not
apply to the soils used in this study, or some unknown factor is dominating the infiltration and runoff
process for the study conditions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
NWISRL Publication Number: 1329
Subjects: Irrigation > Sprinkler irrigation > Center pivot
Depositing User: Users 6 not found.
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2010 03:43
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 14:51
Item ID: 1352